Transfiguration (1439-1443) by Fra Angelico

Transfiguration - Fra Angelico - 1440 - 1442

Artwork Information

ArtistFra Angelico
Date1440 - 1442
MediumFresco on Wall
Dimensions71 1/4 x 59 7/8 in (181 x 152 cm)
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationBasilica di San Marco, Florence, Italy
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About Transfiguration

Fra Angelico’s Transfiguration depicts Christ with outstretched arms on a natural platform, foreshadowing his crucifixion and connecting the transfiguration ecstasy with passion. The fresco, located in Cell 6 of the Convent of San Marco in Florence, features a face, nimbus, and radiant white garments similar to the Mocking scene in adjacent Cell 7. It was commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici the Elder in the late 15th century.

Fra Angelico’s artworks often demonstrate a divine devotion, reflecting his position as a Dominican friar. His purpose in creating Transfiguration, along with other frescoes in the convent, was to encourage private devotion. The directness, simplicity, and restrained palette in the frescoes demonstrate this purpose.

Moreover, the painting portrays Christ prefiguring his rising from the tomb, representing an important aspect of Christian faith. Fra Angelico also painted the crucifix on the high altar, highlighting his skill as a skilled fresco artist. The Convent of San Marco was a hub for great spiritual and cultural figures in the 15th century, and the artworks within it, including the Transfiguration fresco, continue to be admired for their historical significance and artistic excellence.

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